The gull flies in the evening light.
The sea descends into indigo.
as the bird catches the last updraft of the day
and hugs the shoreline like a toy on a string,
straight and direct, his last bit of dinner still in his beak.
You know this bird.
Caught in a storm not long ago, one wing broken,
he hopped along the shore for months, unable to fly,
but able to pull life from the edge of the water,
just enough to live,
Improbably, the wing healed.
Improbably, he flies again
but never far from shore,
a story you have lived too long,
a brokenness that ran deeper than bones,
a soul shattered by my own blindness
and the cruelty of others similarly wounded.
you have learned to fly, like the gull,
close to shore,
while the great deep sea called you in the night.
And now you are old,
and the fearlessness of your youth seeps back into your old bones.
Improbable, and yet
you feel your flight path changing,
veering slowly each day, away,
towards the horizon.
About this poem.
Credit my new bride for this one, who has slowly given me the courage to reach again. And credit my friend and painter Joe Hawthorne in far away Scotland, who often paints gulls and horizons, inspired by the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
The picture was taken at Cape Cod, along Marconi Beach.